Husky Loops / Think Tank, Newcastle | 26th of February

Husky Loops / Think Tank, Newcastle | 26th of February

There was an Italian invasion in Newcastle on the 26th of February, as Husky Loops brought their brand of heavy experimental rock to Think Tank, along with support from WhenYoung and Bellyfeel, in a performance hot enough to melt the snow outside.

There’s always a feeling of grunge in Think Tank, no matter who’s on stage, and that was very suitable for the opening act. Bellyfeel are a four piece from Heaton in Newcastle, a local act who brought the flavour of youth to the proceedings. These lads have been playing together for around a year, and have a sound and a vision to their band, bringing Radiohead style sounds into their extremely complex compositions, often flipping a song completely on its head without a seconds warning, and turning a dreamy melody into a drum and bass heavy solo. These lads are clearly talented musicians and it will be interesting to see how far they can go, but the singers overly moody demeanour came across less Kurt Cobain and more Cannot B. Bothered, and not in a good way. However, they did put on a sterling performance and were a good way to start the night.

WhenYoung by David Ford

We were then treated to a performance by Irish rockers WhenYoung. These guys are the real deal, being punk as hell, the red, yellow and blue colour coordinated three piece of Andrew Flood, Niall Burns, and Aoife Power came out, the lads in hand painted boiler suits, her in clothes reminiscent of Hugh Jackman in the Greatest Showman, and put on a performance worthy of any great showman. Hailing all the way from Limerick, their heavy guitars and raging drums were the perfect foil for Aoife’s thrashy vocals during their energetic set, but then I saw the mark of a great rock band. They slowed the tempo right down and did a couple of slower songs, perfectly holding the audience in their hands as they showed immense control of their craft.

Speaking with Aoife after the show, she told me how they came to write one of those slower songs, The Others after she was working as a gardener a few streets away from Grenfell Tower the day it caught fire, and she saw how the devastation was contrasted with the people who owned the gardens she worked in who were barely effected by it. A deep and powerful song about neglect which was arguably the highlight of the night, these guys are ones to watch.

Husky Loops by David Ford

So, after fifteen minutes of darkness, the stage lit up with a thousand LED’s and then was immediately obscured by a fog machine pumping out enough haze to make the room look like an enchanted forest. But then Husky Loops walked on and cut straight through it all. Seeing Husky Loops live is insane. They never stop, the energy is always at max, and the music is spectacular. They made a small room in Newcastle feel like a huge area with their massive guitar work, drums straight from an R’n’B song and jacked up on steroids, and vocals that almost seemed to be backing vocals to the real voice of the band which was in the music, but were still great in their own right. These guys need to be seen to be believed. All from Bologna in Italy, they’ve been based in the UK for five years now, experimenting with some of the most unique guitar sounds I’ve heard, and following the likes of Royal Blood and Slaves to create a genre of everything thats good to mosh to.

 

It was the kind of night that had even the bar staff joining in when they weren’t serving drinks, which was during practically the whole of everyone’s sets, as the crowd was so invested in what was happening on stage to worry about their glasses being empty. I am certain we will hear a lot more from everyone involved tonight, as I saw three sets of incredible musicians, but more than that, I saw three sets of people who were desperate to be musicians, three sets of people who love being musicians, and three sets of people who I can tell will exceed their own expectations. And I know one thing for sure, they can do it on a snowy Monday night in Newcastle.

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